Navratri is a dynamic festival that stretches over a period of 9 days. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Each of the nine days, different avatars of the Goddess are worshipped. These include Shailaputri Maa, Bharmacharini Devi, Devi Chandraghanta, Goddess Kushmanda, Skandamata Devi, Goddess Katyayani, Goddess Kaalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri Devi. The main festival commences on the Pratipada of the Shukla Paksha of the Ashwin month (September - October). This festival is celebrated all over India but no state beats the enthusiastic intensity of Gujarat, who revel in this festive fervour of Navratri. The festival commences with the Ghatasthapana Puja and ends with Durga Visarjan. The 10th day is celebrated as Dusshera; but this is subjected to the lunar calendar. Essentially, there are different types of Navaratis namely Chaitra Navratri, Gupt Navratri, Sharad Navratri, Poushya Navratri and Magha Navratri. Sharad Navratri that falls in the month of Ashwin is the most popular one and is also known as Maha Navratri. It is a festival of worship, fasting, dancing and celebrations.

~ ~ ~ Significance of Navratri ~ ~ ~

Navratri literally means nine nights. During this occasion we seek blessings from the divinity of Durga who is the universal mother. The powerful energy that has the ability to create, maintain and demolish the entire universe. Durga is significant not only as the epitome of power but also for being the ‘divine Mother’; one who encourages growth and life. Additionally, it is also an event where you rejoice the victory of the righteous over the corrupt. Moreover, it is believed that worshipping this powerful deity for nine days will rid us of our vices and shower wealth and knowledge upon us.

~ ~ ~ Pujas and Vrats during Navratri ~ ~ ~

DatePujas & Vrats
1st – 2nd OctoberGhatasthapana Puja & Shailaputri Puja
3rd OctoberBharmacharini Puja
4rd OctoberChandraghanta Puja
5rd OctoberKushmanda Puja & Upang Lalita Vrat
6rd OctoberSkandamata Puja
7rd OctoberSaraswati Awahan & Katyayani Puja
8rd OctoberKalaratri Puja
9rd OctoberSaraswati Puja & Maha Gauri Puja
10rd OctoberDurga Havan & Siddhidatri Puja
11rd OctoberDurga Visarjan & Vijayadashami

~ ~ ~ Navratri Celebration and Traditions ~ ~ ~

Apart from the enthusiastic festivities that are part of this ritual, there are many traditions that people abide by:

  • Devotees choose to avoid the consumption of meat and alcohol.
  • It is called ‘Golu’ in the South. People decorat many idols in their homes and make it sort of like a small museum. The idols are generally displayed in a way that depict the tales from the Hindu mythology.
  • The festivities range high in Karnataka where this occasion is celebrated at the royal Mysore Palace. It is also an occasion where the ‘tools of the trade are worshipped’.
  • It is more religiously followed in the East and goes by the name of Durga Puja where idols of the Goddess flock the markets.
  • The city of Gujarat gets alive at night as music blasts the speakers and people dance to the traditional tunes of Garba.
  • In the North of India, it is celebrated as Ramlila; where people put on stage shows depicting the glorious victory of Rama over Ravan.
  • In Punjab, people undertake a fast for seven days.

~ ~ ~ Legends of Navratri ~ ~ ~

  • According to one mythological story, the demon Mahishasura was plaguing havoc on Earth as he was granted the power of immortality. All the gods were powerless against this unfortunate gift that was earlier bestowed on him. Then, the three most important Hindu deities decide to put their powers together and thus Goddesses Durga was created. The stories of her beauty reached far and wide and finally caught on to Mahishasura ears. He went in search of the Goddess and upon finding her, asked her hand in marriage. But the Goddess had a condition. She challenged him to a fight and he could marry her if he defeated her. The battle continued for a period of nine nights by the end of which Goddess Durga decapitated Mahishasura.
  • Another story goes something like this. Ram during his period of exile invoked 9 goddesses during the course of 9 nights. This is order to gain strength so that he could defeat the evil Ravan and rescue his wife from his clutches. The tenth day is believed to be the day when Ravana was slayed by Ram with the help of the blessings of each one of the female divinities.

~ ~ ~ 9 Colours of Navratri ~ ~ ~

Each day of Navratri has a special significance which is represented by means of colours. Clothes must be worn on each day in accordance with these colours.

1st OctoberGrey
2nd OctoberOrange
3rd OctoberWhite
4rd OctoberRed
5rd OctoberRoyal Blue
6rd OctoberYellow
7rd OctoberGreen
8rd OctoberPeacock Green
9rd OctoberPurple

~ ~ ~ Navratri Dates in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (Ashwin Mass) ~ ~ ~

Navratri in 20161st October – 11th October
Navratri in 201721st September – 30th September
Navratri in 201810th October – 19th October
Navratri in 201929th September – 8th October
Navratri in 202017th October – 26th October

~ ~ ~ Shubh Muhurat for Navrati ~ ~ ~

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